|Scouting out "Cloudhover Solstice" locations: Flamborough Head 17th century Old Chalk Beacon Tower|
I'm back from my eagerly-anticipated research reconnaissance trip to fairest Flamborough, the setting for the novel, from the chalk cliffs and caves to the haunting hidden hollows of ancient Danes Dyke, cutting off the headland from the rest of these islands, leaving it pointing mysteriously out towards vanished Doggerland off the coast of Holderness.
|Selwick Stack, Selwick's Bay, Flamborough Head|
|Kittiwakes, High Stacks, Flamborough|
|Cave arch, North Landing, Flamborough|
I took photographs and emotional mental snapshots, too, of those dominant sentinels of the headland, the 1806 Lighthouse and the Old Beacon Tower, built in chalk in the seventeen century. They must play their part, with their own tales interweaving into the lives of my characters and impacting on their fictional journey.
I took panorama sweeps to judge distances between landmarks, from Filey Brigg in the north, to Bridlington to the south. I explored Chatterthrow, formerly "Chattertrove" beyond Little Thornwick Bay, named for the racket made by the seabirds that thronged the cliffs as they nested, before humankind impacted their paradise, a central theme in my book.
|Flamborough panorama from Chatterthrow back towards the Lighthouse|
Flamborough did me good, as it always does, not only as a writer, but as a human being. Chronic illness has meant four years of not being able to manage a holiday, and Flamborough has haunted my dreams with glimpses of joy throughout those life-limiting days. Flamborough more than made up for it. Flamborough wouldn't know how to disappoint me if it tried!
|Flamborough Head Lighthouse|
So the chipping and carving at the sand castle goes on, as "Cloudhover Solstice" takes its own unique shape under my scribbling fingers, recreating and restoring me along the way. I hope when it's ready to reveal itself to the world, you will enjoy reading it and that you'll be enchanted too by this magical place!
|Danes Dyke Beach, Flamborough|